(Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism, Vol.1. part 9)
Faith in the Holy Trinity
Lord's Day 8
Psalter No. 71 st. 3
Isaiah 45
Psalter No. 420 st. 5
Psalter No. 422 st. 4
Psalter No. 32 st. 3, 4

    The old covenant people, Israel, were highly privileged above
the heathens. The advantage of the Jew is, according to the word of
the apostle, much every way. In whatever manner you view Israel and
from whatever aspect you look at it, it has advantages above the
heathen, "chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles
of God." For in His Word, both in the Old and New Testament, the
Lord reveals Himself as much as is necessary in this life to His
glory and to the salvation of His elect.
    Also in nature God reveals Himself "by the creation,
preservation and government of the universe; which is before our
eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small,
are as so many characters leading us to contemplate the invisible
things of God, namely, His power and divinity," as the apostle
saith. This revelation in nature, however, does not teach us the way
of salvation. The sun, moon and stars, yea, the entire creation, do
not tell us that God is one God and a Triune God, nor do they speak
of Christ, through Whom alone a sinner can be reconciled to God.
Paul also tells us that this revelation of God is sufficient to
convince men (namely, that there is a God) and to leave them without
excuse. Nobody, not even a blind heathen shall be able to say before
the judgment seat of God, "I did not know there was a God." For the
salvation of His people, He has revealed Himself in His Word, and
that Word He gave only to Israel under the old dispensation, but in
the days of the new covenant He gave it to all nations. How great
then was the advantage of the Jew and the profit of circumcision;
how great is the advantage of all who live in the light of the
Gospel. To them the way of salvation out of their misery is clearly
presented in God's Word; and life eternal is made known as
consisting of the knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ
whom He has sent. The means to attain this knowledge is given to
them, and by the enlightening of the Holy Spirit, it can bear fruit
unto salvation. For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word
of God.
    In that Word, God has revealed Himself in Christ for the
salvation of His elect. That Word alone tells us there is one God,
speaks of His perfections, and teaches us the great mystery that God
is one in essence, but three in persons. We must now deal with the
Trinity according to the eighth Lord's Day of our Heidelberg
    Lord's Day 8
Q. 24: How are these articles divided?

A. Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our
    creation; the second of God the Son, and our redemption; the
    third of God the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification.

Q. 25: Since there is but one only divine essence, why speakest thou
    of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?

A. Because God has so revealed Himself in His Word, that these three
    distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God.

    This Lord's Day speaks of faith in the Holy Trinity. That faith
     I contains the humble acknowledgment of the existence of God;
     II embraces the revelation of the Trinity;
    III is a fountain of comfort for the people of God.
    The seventh Lord's Day began the discussion of faith, and told
of its absolute necessity, of its true nature, and of the rich
summary of faith. Later Lord's Day 23 shall speak of the profit of
faith, and Lord's Day 25 of the Author of faith. The explanation of
what a Christian must believe is found in Lord's Days 8-22. In these
Lord's Days, that which is confessed in the twelve articles is
explained; and that explanation begins with discussing the mystery
of the Holy Trinity. A ready occasion for this discussion lies in
the division of these articles. This division is not arbitrary, but
is connected with that which led to composing the Twelve Articles,
namely the formula for baptizing: "I baptize thee in the Name of the
Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." Question 24 returns
to that basic confession, and asks, "How are these articles
    "Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our
creation; the second of God the Son, and our redemption, the third
of God the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification."
    You may ask, and the unbeliever may cast before you, has not the
instructor forgotten something? Did he not forget to prove that
there is a God? Before going into more detail of the essence of God,
should he not have given proof that there is a God? So many people
deny it. The number of those who mock at God and at religion is
growing, and if it were proved that there is a God, atheism would
    No, indeed, do not think that an atheist can be convinced. It is
with an atheist as it was with the Pharisees when Jesus was on
earth. No matter how many signs Jesus did, showing forth His divine
power and glory, they were not sufficient proofs for them that He
was the promised Messiah. He must show them a sign from heaven, to
prove His heavenly origin. Let the Lord's answer to them be also our
answer to the willfully blind atheist, "There shall no sign be given
thee, but the sign of Jonah, the prophet." In the day of judgment it
shall be shown to you in your eternal condemnation that there is a
    The Catechism need not prove the existence of God. God has
revealed Himself in all men. Man has an innate knowledge of God, a
consciousness that there is a God. But the atheist treads upon that
consciousness and gives no heed to that voice. How then can you give
him any proof? No man is born an atheist; an atheist is made by
willfully hardening his conscience out of enmity against God. He
does not want to acknowledge that there is a God.
    Men have tried to prove the existence of God with five proofs
for those who deny it. But although these proofs may strengthen the
conviction of him who believe the existence of God, they cannot
convince the atheist. He willfully closes his eyes and says, "I see
no proof of the existence of God." He needs only to open his eyes
and give up his atheism. Then he shall see the works of God and
exclaim, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament
shows His handiwork", then he shall hear the voice of his conscience
which tells him that there is a God, who tells us in His Word, "God
is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit
and in truth." He revealed Himself in nature and in Scripture. "Who
has ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind
in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment?" (Prov. 30:4)
"To whom then will you liken God? or what likeness will you compare
unto Him?" (Isa. 40:18) God's Word speaks of Him, beside Whom there
is no God. Why then ask for evidences to prove the existence of God
more clearly? Every attempt to prove that God exists must fail, if
this must serve to convince a willful atheist. Such an attempt is
even forbidden. The Reformers have always held this.
    In the conscience of even the blindest heathen there is an
impression that there is a God, and in no place upon earth will you
find even one nation without religion. That religion is not the
result of a scheme of the priests, as the atheists say. How could
the priests have such persuasive powers upon millions of heathens,
if there was not an innate consciousness in their heart that there
is a higher being "which we call God," as our confession says. God
is and has created the consciousness of His existence in the heart
of every man. We are born with that consciousness. And although the
blind heathens are polytheists, yet even in his blindness he shows
that he is conscious of the existence of God. Moreover, how would
men want to prove that there is a God? Must we show an image of God?
God is a spirit and cannot be seen by men's eyes. Or do men want
mathematical proof, as we prove that two times two are four? Only
bitter hatred of God would ask for such proofs "The fool says in his
heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt they have done abominable
works, there is none that does good." (Psalm 14:1) According to
God's Word they are fools, however learned they may be in the
opinion of worldlings, if they demand proof for the existence of
God; all their arguments are foolish, even though they may seem
wise. Foolish is everyone who tries to give proof to convince an
atheist. Do not seek to place yourself on a level with the atheist
to debate with him, but attack him in his conscience by summoning
him before the judgment seat of God, who gave also him that innate
consciousness that there is a God, and by whom he shall be judged.
Why does he still speak of God; why does he curse, if there is no
God? If he is given over to hardness of his heart, so that he
entirely neglects God, not deigning even to say His Name, you may
know that his condemnation is near. Even the devils believe there is
a God, and they tremble. Has man sunk lower than the devils?
    Thus every man, even every heathen, has an innate consciousness
that there is a God. That consciousness is strengthened by the
knowledge obtained from creatures outside of us, and particularly
from that which Scripture teaches us. True knowledge of God we
cannot have by nature. Therefore the Lord's Word tells us by nature
we are without God in the world. God's people receive that true
knowledge, because the Lord reveals Himself to them according to the
riches of His grace in Christ Jesus. God's elect receive a knowledge
of God in this life, a knowledge of His attributes, so that they
learn to bow before Him in the dust, to acknowledge their guilt, and
to make supplication to their Judge. They learn to know God, Whom
they do not see, but Whose love and mercy they experience to their
salvation. He is the God of their salvation, in Whose communion lies
their life, and Whom they shall praise and adore to all eternity.
    So the Catechism has not forgotten anything. He builds upon the
foundation laid in Scripture, and so he comes directly to the
doctrine of the Trinity. "Since there is but one only divine
essence, why speakest thou of Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Because
God has so revealed Himself in His Word, that these three distinct
persons are the one only true and eternal God."
    Thus we come to our second main point:
that faith embraces the revelation of the Trinity.
    God has revealed Himself in His Word as the Triune God. Without
the Word we do not know this mystery. Nature does not speak of it;
sun, moon, stars, plants, trees and animals are not able to explain
the most exalted mystery of the Divine Trinity. In His Word, God
reveals Himself more clearly and perfectly than in nature. That Word
speaks of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Who are the only
true God; one in Essence, and three in Persons, an unfathomable
mystery for our understanding. Was it any wonder that the heathens
had no knowledge of this mystery? They knelt for Dagon, Baal,
Moloch, and Ashteroth, but they did not know the only true God; much
less did those polytheists know about the wonderful existence of God
in three Persons. I did not say consisting of three Persons, for the
glorious essence of God is not formed by the union of three persons,
as if one third of that Essence is in the Father, one third in the
Son and one third in the Spirit.
    In God all is one, without combination of parts or matters; and
so Scripture teaches us that the whole essence of God is in the
Father, but also in the Son, and also in the Holy Ghost. The Father
is God, the Son is God and the Holy Ghost is God; the Father is
another, the Son is another, and the Holy Ghost is another.
Therefore these three names are not three names for the same Person,
but for three Persons. Nevertheless we have not three gods, but one
God. "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord." "Hence then, it
is evident that the Father is not the Son, nor the Son the Father,
and likewise the Holy Ghost is neither the Father, nor the Son.
Nevertheless, these persons thus distinguished are not divided, nor
intermixed; for the Father has not assumed the flesh, nor has the
Holy Ghost, but the Son only. The Father has never been without His
Son, or without His Holy Ghost. For they are all three, co-eternal
and co-essential. There is neither first nor last; for they are all
three one, in truth, in power, in goodness and in mercy." (Art. 8
Belgic Confession) Oh, I pray, do stop asking questions, do not seek
to enter into this mystery; it is impossible. How could you,
insignificant man, who are of yesterday and know nothing, understand
God? Not he who understands, but he who relieves that He is, comes
to God. And he who believes, embraces the revelation of God in His
Word, that speaks clearly in both the Old and New Testament of this
Trinity. Already to Adam, God was known as the Triune God, and after
the fall He has revealed Himself to the elect as Father, Son and
Holy Ghost. Without knowledge of the Trinity there is no salvation.
Athanasius rightly confessed, "This is the catholic faith, which
except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved."
    The proofs for the Trinity are many. You need but choose a text
here and there. In Gen. 1:26 God says, "Let *us* make man in *our*
image, after *our* likeness." So God created man in His own image,
male and female created He them. Also in Gen. 3:22 "Behold the man
is become as one of us." This shows that there is more than one
person in the Godhead, when He says, "Let *us* make man in *our*
image"; and then He shows the unity when He says, "God created." It
is true that He does not say how many Persons there are. But what is
somewhat obscure in the Old Testament is very plain in the New. For
when our Lord was baptized in Jordan, the voice of the Father was
heard, saying, "This is My beloved Son"; the Son was seen in the
water, and the Holy Ghost appeared in the shape of a dove. This form
is also instituted by Christ in baptism, "Baptize all nations, in
the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." In
the Gospel of Luke the angel Gabriel addressed Mary, the mother of
the Lord, thus, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power
of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing
which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Likewise: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God
and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you." "There are three
that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy
Ghost, and these three see one."
    Add to these the places where God and God, and Lord and Lord see
distinguished as in Psalms 45 and 110, and those where the three
persons are mentioned as in Psalm 33, texts that Hellenbroek quotes
and are familiar to us all. Hear how the Lord speaks: "I (God) have
overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorra." Thus
the Persons are distinguished as God and God. But why bring out more
proofs? In the texts quoted we have irrefutable proof that there are
three Persons in the one divine essence. Read Articles 8 and 9 of
our Belgic Confession.
    The texts we have mentioned are enough to cause us to embrace
the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as it has always been defended
against Marcion, Mani, Praxeas, Sabellius, Samosatenus, Arius and
others. Especially the Manicheans did much harm with their heathen
doctrine and Arius, who considered Christ as the first created
being, hence a creature. These two last named are best known.
Athanasius, still a young deacon in Alexandria, defended the truth
against the godless denial of the Divinity of the Son by Arius so
strongly, that Arius was condemned at the Council of Nicer in 325.
In the back of some Psalters we find the Nicene creed and the
confession of Athanasius composed in 333. Although the Jew and the
Mohammedan and the paganized Modernist deny it, God is one in
Essence and three in Persons. These Persons are distinct from each
other in their personal properties. The properties of His Essence
are known to us as the communicable and incommunicable attributes.
They belong to the Essence of God. The Father is eternal; the Son is
eternal; the Holy Spirit is eternal; and this can be repeated with
all the attributes of God's Essence.
    The personal properties of the three Persons belong only to each
alone. Thus the personal property of the Father is that He is of
Himself and exists by Himself; that of the Son, that He is begotten
by the Father; and that of the Holy Spirit, that He proceeds from
the Father and the Son. "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten
Thee", God testifies in Psalm 2. By eternal generation, the Son is
the express image of His person, so very different from man who is
made in the likeness of God. Man also was created, but the Son was
begotten. With an incomprehensible, everlasting generation remaining
within the Divine Essence, He exists as the Second Person in the
Godhead, co-essential with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Thus the
word generation means that the Father communicated to His Son His
own Divine Essence. The personal property of the Holy Spirit is,
that He proceeds from the Father and from the Son. Therefore He is
not only called the Spirit of the Father, but also the Spirit of the
Son. Gal. 4:6: "God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your
hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
    With regard to His proceeding also from the Son, a bitter
conflict arose in the sixth century, which led to a schism between
the Eastern and the Western Church. The Eastern Church acknowledged
that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, but denied its
proceeding from the Son. The second and third Persons were placed in
a lower rank than the Father. The Western Church objected to this
and at the Council of Toledo in 589, the Filioque was added to the
confession, meaning "and from the Son". Father, Son and Holy Spirit
are one in truth, in power, in goodness and in mercy. If we deny
that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, then the work of the
Spirit is separated from the work of the Son. The work of redemption
then becomes a kind of sanctifying, which is apart from Christ's
mediatorial work. The Lord Jesus, however emphatically teaches, that
the work of the Holy Spirit rests upon the work of the Son.
Therefore the Holy Spirit could not come, because Jesus was not yet
glorified. Dependence upon the mediatorial ministry of Christ in the
work of grace is closely connected with the proceeding of the Spirit
from the Father and from the Son.
    Thus we confess three Persons in one Essence; and we speak of
the Trinity, a word which is not found in the Bible literally, but
is still Biblical: 1 John 5:7, and therefore we may use the term.
Those who would introduce other terminology, hide under those new
terms their denial of this glorious doctrine, which is indispensable
for our salvation and will, if we may know anything of it, cause us
to cry out, "God is great, and we know Him not." Although this
doctrine far surpasses all human understanding, nevertheless, we now
believe it by means of the Word of God, but expect hereafter to
enjoy the perfect knowledge and benefit thereof in Heaven.
    It is thus established in the Word that the only and true God
exists in three Persons. This great mystery of His Divine existence
He has revealed, as we hear in the third place, so that faith in the
Holy Trinity may be a fountain of comfort to God's people.
    This comfort is based upon the existence, but also in the divine
economy of the three Persons. To each of the three Persons, a
particular work is ascribed, of which the Belgic Confession speaks
in Article 9: "Moreover we must observe the particular offices and
operations of these three Persons toward us. The Father is called
our Creator, by His power; the Son is our Savior and Redeemer, by
His blood; the Holy Ghost is our Sanctifier, by His dwelling in our
hearts." In accordance with our confession, the Catechism also
speaks of the Father and our creation, of the Son and our
redemption, and the Holy Spirit and our sanctification. But do not
misunderstand this as though the Son and the Holy Spirit had no part
in the creation, as if one Person were excluded from the work of
another. It is not thus God spoke, "Let us make men," and in Isaiah
it really says, "For thy Makers are thy husbands." The Son also
created: "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, and without
Him was not anything made that was made." "And the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters, and all the hosts of the heavens
were made by the breath of His mouth."
    As all three Persons were active in creation, so also in
redemption and sanctification. In speaking of the work of
redemption, whose work came to the foreground? Whose own work was it
to save sinners from hell? Was it not the Son's work? He, the second
Person took on our flesh and blood; He was born of Mary, He lay in a
manger, He suffered and died, He arose from the dead, and ascended
into heaven. You cannot say this of the Father, nor of the Holy
Ghost. The Son of God procured salvation. He is Jesus, that is
Savior, because He saves His people. Although He himself says, "No
man can come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me, draw him",
the work of redemption is the work of the Son. In the same way,
creation is the work of the Father and sanctification is the
personal work of the Holy Spirit. The Father is the origin of all
things. He is our Father because of creation, but also our Judge
because of sin. The Son is our Redeemer; only by Him the elect are
adopted as sons and daughters. The Holy Ghost, resting upon the
finished work of Christ, dwells in the heart of His people; He takes
of Christ and shows it to His own; He regenerates, leads into all
truth, comforts and abides with His elect forever. A Triune God is
the God of our salvation. The church of the Old Testament also knew
this only comfort: "Doubtless Thou art our Father, though Abraham be
ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not"; "Thou, O Lord, art
our Father, our Redeemer; Thy Name is from everlasting." They knew
the eternal Godhead of the Son. "Whose goings forth have been from
of old, from everlasting." They were prepared to honour the Son as
they honored the Father, by the power of the Holy Ghost, of Whom
Christ already spoke through Isaiah, "The Spirit of the Lord God is
upon Me; because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings
unto the meek; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to
proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to
them that are bound."
    Thus from the beginning, the work of the Holy Ghost was for the
restoration of the elect. No one ever is saved outside of Christ,
nor did anyone ever partake of the Mediator, but by the Holy Ghost.
As the Son of God once took on our human nature from the Virgin
Mary, so also once, the Holy Ghost was poured out on the Day of
Pentecost to abide with His people. Closely related to this is the
deliverance of the church from the bands of the law, in which it was
brought in the ministry of the shadows, and the boldness which it
has in Christ, when the Spirit bears witness with its spirit that it
is a child of God. Bound by unbelief, so many who are not strangers
to the work of grace, lack the inward boldness of heart, which is in
the better dispensation of the covenant in the believing conscious
knowledge of the three divine persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Yea, the Spirit is sent as the Comforter; that is the Advocate of
His people. John uses that same word of Christ in 1 John 2:1. The
church has an Advocate in heaven and an Advocate dwelling within it,
who takes its part against those that strive against them. God's
people may glory, "Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened
unto the Lord?", as we now sing from our Psalter No. 422, st. 4.
    Has that only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit also become the
God of our salvation? Already in baptism, we were commended to the
Triune God. Father, Son and Holy Ghost have by that sign placed a
seal upon our forehead, confirming as it were with an oath, that He
is the God of the covenant. But who of us learned to understand
that? Do not many live on without observing it, without realizing
their state of misery, without standing still upon their path? As
far as their inner being is concerned, cannot many baptized people
be called heathens, notwithstanding the many labors God bestows on
us from day to day, inviting us by His Word to be saved?
Continually, as the God of the Covenant, the Father calls from
heaven and the Son sprinkles upon lost sinners for their salvation
His blood, which is called the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh
better things than that of Abel, and the Spirit testifies that He
will apply what Christ has merited.
    But who has believed that report? Who bowed down into the dust
before Him? Who came as a lost sinner to seek salvation in a Triune
God? Hundreds confess that they believe in Him as He is revealed in
His Word, but who of those hundreds knows Him by true faith? This is
life eternal that they know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus
Christ Whom Thou has sent. But where did you obtain that more than
superficial, that true saving knowledge? You, congregation, are
blessed whenever you leave the house of prayer in the Name of the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Did you receive this blessing with
faith in your heart? Or did that official act which is more than a
prayer, rebound from your hardened heart, which cast the Word of God
to the wind? Of how many we must fear, that they reject the love of
God, consider the blood of Christ an unclean thing, and grieve the
Holy Spirit? Oh, tell me, what will your end be? You shall one day
meet God, but how? You will meet Him as a consuming fire and
everlasting burnings, with whom no sinner can dwell. All excuse for
sinning is taken away. The Father's giving love, the Son's
self-sacrificing love and the Spirit's applying love, all call for
the saving of even the greatest of sinners. No sins are too many, no
self-righteousness too great, no one too young, not one is too old.
    Oh, where shall we hide ourselves, if we reject that love and
neglect so great a salvation? It will be as a gnawing worm when we
must eternally reproach ourselves and admit it is our own fault. May
His love break your stony heart, and urge you to seek Him for your
salvation. He, the Triune God, is worthy to be loved, served and
feared for His own sake. The value which the people of God see in
Him, causes them to love Him; the love of God constrains to a return
of love. The love which was shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy
Spirit that regenerated them, came to dwell in them, and ingrafted
them in Christ by faith, is the result of the drawing love of the
Father. That work of the Triune God causes them to leave the world,
sin, self and all - not by force, but willingly, with all their
heart. Oh, unutterable is the love by which the regenerated soul
goes out, seeking God and saying, "I will love Thee, O Lord, my
    Did your soul also come to that blessed knowledge of God's
    In our conviction we have to do with God, we have no knowledge
of the Divine Persons. We have sinned against God and we fear that
Divine Being, Who created us after His image, because of His
righteousness; but He draws us by His love and mercy. The
distinguishing knowledge of the Persons lies in Christ. Therefore,
our Catechism deals with the doctrine of the Trinity, after the
revelation of the way of salvation in Christ. Thus our soul learns
to know the Persons in God, when Christ has revealed Himself to us
as the Way of life. Let not then the life of your soul remain
dependent on the condition of your heart, but let there be a lively
urge to know Christ, the Surety, and through Him, the Father and the
Holy Spirit.
    Oh, afflicted souls, keep courage. So many cannot deny that they
have received some hope of salvation, when the all-sufficiency and
fulness in Christ were opened to them, but it seems to them that the
Father as an angry Judge shall condemn them forever. The sweet
communion with the Surety and the strengthening of the Holy Spirit
through the Word give hope, but the Father is their Judge, and they
have never yet heard His acquittal in their soul.
    This causes them to fear that all they have will be too short
when death comes, and justice shall condemn their soul. Oh, may the
Lord give you light. There is no revelation of Christ, nor coming to
Christ, except by the love of the Father. He Himself loves you. Only
the light in your soul is lacking; faith has no power to penetrate
into the mystery of the Trinity. You lack the sealing of the Holy
Ghost and therefore faith loses its power in the attacks of Satan,
and doubt retains its power in your heart to hold you captive. The
knowledge of and the comfort from the Trinity is missed by many,
since the grace of God does not work through in the soul. They see
the three Persons more clearly in the manners of their existence,
than in the beauty of their unity. How few of God's children have
received conscious knowledge of their justification in Christ by
faith and through the assurance of the Holy Spirit. And how sad it
is that many rest in their justification, without seeking to attain
the same consciousness of their adoption. They often become great
Christians and they lack the childlike frame. The mystery of the
Trinity of God has not been experimentally explained in their soul.
How our heart should hunger for the divine solution of the mystery
in which so much comfort lies, that our soul which in Adam was drawn
away from the Father now may testify, "Abba, Father," and the great
mystery is embraced, "One God in three Persons, Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost, is the God of our salvation."
    But how much continual exercise of faith is necessary in our
soul, so that the work of the Holy Spirit may bear rich fruit for
our sanctification. Christ was referring to this exercise of faith
when He spoke, "Abide in Me, and I in you, and you shall bring forth
much fruit." What a sad sight God's people often are in our days,
because they lack the exercise of sanctification. It should wound
our hearts to see the Father's honour thus violated, the Son's
redemption thus negated and the Spirit's work opposed. The communion
of faith with the Father in Christ through the Holy Spirit, keeps us
far from sin and causes us to grow in Him Who is the Head of His
church. Then even in the darkness, our soul shall have strength in
God, and even in darkness there shall be such a fulfillment of the
Father's love, that we shall sing the praises of the Lord, even in
the night, seeking refuge under the shadow of His wings. For God
loves His people eternally with an unchangeable love, which does not
measure itself after our feelings, but is ever the same in Christ.
God grant us that grace so that we may be encouraged to walk on our
path, even in adversities.
    For God the Holy Spirit made His dwelling in you in
regeneration, never to depart from you. The Lord Himself has said,
"The Father shall give you another Comforter that He may abide with
you forever." Christ departed according to the flesh, the church
would know Him no more after the flesh; but the people of God are
given much more. The Holy Spirit came to depart no more, to lead
into the truth, to open the mysteries of the Word for our salvation,
to comfort us in all sorrow, to abide with us forever, even though
we do not feel it, and our soul complains, "The Lord has forsaken
me." How we should walk with uplifted head! The poor worldling has
no ground on which to stand, and slips in adversity; but God's
children have a strong consolation, so that Paul cried out, "We are
always confident", "always" in prosperity and in adversity, in life
and in death. Yea, we have a consolation, even in death, for death
is swallowed up in victory. In this life we know only in part, only
a small part of the Triune God. One day that which is in part shall
be put away, and God shall bring His people into that perfect
knowledge which is in heaven. Then the Father Who sits upon the
throne, and the Son, Who purchased His own with His blood, and the
Holy Spirit, Who prepared them for glory, the Triune God, shall be
glorified forever. Oh, that we might walk here looser from the
earth, more familiar with death, and with a livelier hope of glory!
         When I in righteousness at last
         Thy glorious face shall see,
         When all the weary night is past
         And I awake with Thee.
         To view the glories that abide,
         Then, then shall I be satisfied.

(continued in part 10...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: krhc1-09.txt